Fox News host Chris Wallace has been a target of Heathering by the Media Research Center over the past year for lacking total obsequience to President Trump. Now the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has gotten in on it. Patrick Goodenough complained in a Dec. 6 article:
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace took issue with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during an interview Sunday for referring to “Vice President Joe Biden,” making the point three times that he should use the term “president-elect.”
Wallace also took the opportunity to criticize President Trump for an early lack of enthusiasm about mask wearing.
“If President Trump had worn a mask then and urged everyone to wear a mask then, back in April, the way Joe Biden is right now, wouldn’t we be in much better shape?” he asked.
Goodenough was quick to make an excuse for the latter -- "The World Health Organization (WHO) itself advised against mass mask wearing until June" -- but after complaining that Wallace "chided" Azar "for the third time" over the "president-elect" statement, he seemed to suggest Wallace wasn't totally wrong on the historyof the term:
Biden is the projected president-elect until the U.S. Congress on January 6 formally counts the electoral votes cast by the electoral college on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December – Dec. 14 in 2020.
The term “president-elect” has traditionally been used, informally, much earlier in the process. Trump changed his Twitter bio to “president elect” on November 9, 2016 – a day after the election – after media projected his electoral college victory.
Biden changed the beginning portion of his Twitter bio from “Senator, Vice President, 2020 candidate for President of the United States” to “President-elect” on November 7, on the day when CNN, followed by other outlets, projected that he would win Pennsylvania, and with it the presidency. Compared to the significant legal disputes in 2020, there were relatively minor disputes and recall counts in 2016.
Goodenough then went after Wallace for allegedly misleading about mask-wearing after he aired clips noting Trump's early callousness toward the practice, going on to nit-pick: "The two clips aired by Wallace gave the misleading impression that CDC Director Robert Redfield had announced the new mask wearing advice on April 3, with Trump then reacting to it. In fact, it was Trump who made the announcement, at a briefing of the White House coronavirus taskforce. The comment from Redfield in the clip played by Wallace, came an hour and two minutes later."
Goodenough then defended Trump's failure to wear a mask by citing evolving WHO guidance:
While critics stress the need to “follow the science” on mask wearing, the WHO itself advised against the general practice until June, arguing that it would encourage a false sense of security and deprive health staff treating COVID-19 patients of badly needed personal protective equipment.
Medical advice around the world on dealing with the novel coronavirus was evolving over time, as experts learned more about how the respiratory pathogen spread. Trump and his supporters are frequently accused of politicizing mask wearing; in fairness, people on both sides have done so.
Only on June 5 did WHO start advising – “in light of evolving evidence” – that people should be encouraged to wear masks “where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.”
And even then, the global health agency noted, “At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.”
At the end of his article, Goodenough linked to an October article which he nit-picked Biden for saying he was wearing masks "from March on" when experts and "the science" advised it, huffing that "In fact public health authorities in the U.S. only issued guidance recommending mask wearing in public on April 3, and the World Health Organization (WHO) held off on doing so until early June" and following that with a lengthy "timeline of the evolving public health advice on mask wearing."
Goodenough has policed the accuracy of Biden's statements much more closely than he has Trump's.